Boris Johnson, is in an extraordinary position. He has advocated a policy of the public individually intervening against yobs. But this contrast sharply with his own recorded behaviour. When approached by Darius Guppy, a person later convicted of fraud, to aid in the beating up of a journalist - Stuart Collier - Boris Johnson failed to report this to the police, discussed how badly the journalist would be beaten and agreed to supply his address. Can he explain how anyone who did this can present themselves as a candidate in favour of law and order in London?
But is this a wise line of attack? Boris does after all have a perfectly credible defence, as outlined by the man who actually made the recording that first brought this matter to light, and holds no particular torch for him:
I don't especially support Johnson, though I loathe Livingstone, but I'd like to see a fair contest. So let me just explain Johnson's role, as far as I can make it out from the tapes I made at the time.
He didn't know the heavies were planning to rip Guppy off. It must have seemed a serious plot. Guppy made it clear that he could try other means of finding the journalist's address. Johnson assured him he didn't have to - and did absolutely nothing at all to find it himself. I actually had that confirmed by Clive Goodman, the now disgraced formed News of the World royal correspondent who listened to the tape. Johnson said he would approach a specific third party. He specifically didn't. The only conclusion I can draw is that he was trying to make sure Guppy didn't manage to have the man attacked. Rather, he was stalling, waiting for Guppy's attention span to expire - a safe bet for those who knew him well.
Not entirely a clean bill of health, but neither an open and shut case of perversion of the course of justice either. And is Livingstone wise to bring up matters of character on violence and helping the police? The matter was dropped and no charges were eventually bought, but cast your mind back 5 years to the summer of 2002 and a birthday party...
When the front door was shut, said Mr Hedges, "Ken wanted to get back into the party. He was uncontrollable and went up to the door and was hammering on it. He was going ballistic and we were trying to calm him down and restrain him. We were grabbing on to his arms and trying to hold him. The last memory I have is of Ken’s arm lunging towards me."
Mr Hedges said that his next memory was coming to, briefly, in the ambulance and then again after he had an X-ray at the Whittington hospital.
Hedges later went further in his allegations: Livingstone was behaving like a drunken lout, physically abusing his pregnant partner, making me fall over a wall and then using the resources of the Greater London Authority to try to cover it up. I'm not entirely convinced that he's in the best position to be throwing stones on this one.